1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Martinet

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MARTINET, a military term (more generally used in a disparaging than in a complimentary sense) implying a strict disciplinarian or drill-master. The term originated in the French army about the middle of Louis XIV.'s reign, and was derived from Jean Martinet (d. 1672), who as lieutenant-colonel of the King's regiment of foot and inspector-general of infantry drilled and trained that arm in the model regular army created by Louis and Louvois between 1660 and 1670. Martinet seems also to have introduced the copper pontoons with which Louis bridged the Rhine in 1672. He was killed, as a maréchal de camp, at the siege of Duisburg in the same year, being accidentally shot by his own artillery while leading the infantry assault. His death, and that of the Swiss captain Soury by the same discharge gave rise to a bon mot, typical of the polite ingratitude of the age, that Duisburg had only cost the king a martin and a mouse. The “ martin ” as a matter of fact shares with Vauban and other professional soldiers of Louis XIV. the glory of having made the French army the first and best regular army in Europe. Great nobles, such as Turenne, Condé and Luxemburg, led this army and inspired it, but their fame has obscured that of the men who made it manageable and efficient. It was about this time that the soldier of fortune, who joined a regiment with his own arms and equipment and had learned his trade by varied experience, began to give place to the soldier regularly enlisted as a recruit in permanent regiments and trained by his own officers. The consequence of this was the introduction of a uniform, or nearly uniform system of drill and training, which in all essentials has endured to the present day. Thus Martinet was the forerunner of Leopold of Dessau and Frederick William, just as Jean Jacques de Fourilles, the organizer of the cavalry, who was forced into an untimely charge at Seneffe (1674) by a brutal taunt of Condé, and there met his death, was the forerunner of Zieten and Seydlitz. These men, while differing from the creators of the Prussian army in that they contributed nothing to the tactics of their arms, at least made tactics possible by the thorough drilling and organization they imparted to the formerly heterogeneous and hardly coherent elements of an army.